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Direct Speech in Non-Literary Texts: A Possible Source of Information on the Early Character of Spoken Hebrew?

Direct Speech in Non-Literary Texts: A Possible Source of Information on the Early Character of... Abstract: The nature of early Hebrew speech is unknown due to the scarcity of documentation prior to the 1950s. This article presents a new source of information, namely quotations of the spoken language embedded in archival documents from the 1920s-1940s, and discusses its value for the study of the evolution of spoken Hebrew. The advantages of the material as compared to other available sources is analyzed, as well as its limitations. This material offers a rare glimpse at the way ordinary speakers—rather than professional writers or grammarians—experienced the spoken language and represented it in writing. Though an attempt for a reconstruction of early Hebrew speech based on this material is not possible, it can certainly shed light on the overall character of the period's spoken language, as well as on some of its specific traits. The textual examples provided throughout the article offer scholars the access to hitherto unknown material, indispensable for the study of the early layer of Modern Hebrew. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hebrew Studies National Association of Professors of Hebrew

Direct Speech in Non-Literary Texts: A Possible Source of Information on the Early Character of Spoken Hebrew?

Hebrew Studies , Volume 46 (1) – Oct 5, 2005

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Publisher
National Association of Professors of Hebrew
Copyright
Copyright © National Association of Professors of Hebrew
ISSN
2158-1681
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: The nature of early Hebrew speech is unknown due to the scarcity of documentation prior to the 1950s. This article presents a new source of information, namely quotations of the spoken language embedded in archival documents from the 1920s-1940s, and discusses its value for the study of the evolution of spoken Hebrew. The advantages of the material as compared to other available sources is analyzed, as well as its limitations. This material offers a rare glimpse at the way ordinary speakers—rather than professional writers or grammarians—experienced the spoken language and represented it in writing. Though an attempt for a reconstruction of early Hebrew speech based on this material is not possible, it can certainly shed light on the overall character of the period's spoken language, as well as on some of its specific traits. The textual examples provided throughout the article offer scholars the access to hitherto unknown material, indispensable for the study of the early layer of Modern Hebrew.

Journal

Hebrew StudiesNational Association of Professors of Hebrew

Published: Oct 5, 2005

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